Who will be the next cohort of innovators to transform Jewish life? The UpStart Accelerator – one of the Jewish community’s high profile engines behind the success of innovative, early-stage organizations – just answered this question with the announcement of its ninth cohort of cutting-edge organizations. Selected from the Accelerator’s largest applicant pool ever (66 from across the world), these nine organizations are opening up new access points to Jewish life.
Since 2006, the UpStart Accelerator has served as a launch pad for over thirty Jewish organizations, providing them with the training, network, and funding needed to transform vision and passion into game-changing Jewish social ventures. Current organizations and alumni include BimBam (formerly G-dcast), Moishe House, Mishkan Chicago, Urban Adamah, and the Jewish Studio Project.
“The Jewish community is increasingly diverse and hungry for unique and personal ways to connect to Jewish life,” says Aaron Katler, CEO of UpStart. This Accelerator cohort is tapping into exactly this desire, by creating new points of connection to Jewish wisdom, community, and identity.”
Below is the full list of this year’s cohort, which will join the thirty-five organizations and alum already in the UpStart Accelerator network:
30 Years After (Los Angeles) – Promotes the participation of Iranian-American Jews in political, civic and Jewish life.
At The Well (Bay Area) – Supports young professional Jewish women to live spiritually connected to their bodies and to feel empowered to be fully themselves.
JCC Maccabi Sports Camp (Bay Area) – Hosts an overnight Jewish sports camp that combines sports and camp activities with core Jewish values.
Libenu Foundation (Chicago) – Provides adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to live independent, meaningful lives as respected members of the Jewish community.
Makom (Chicago) – Helps Millennials fill the emotional, spiritual, and social space that they wish to find from their Judaism but haven’t been able to find just yet.
Mishpucha (New York) – Offers culturally authentic, immersive experiences for Russian-speaking American Jews that foster community building, identity exploration, and Jewish education.
Pushing the Envelope Farm (Chicago) – Provides opportunities for hands-on, farm-based exploration of Jewish agricultural traditions, ecological design, and social justice.
Yachad: The Jewish Educational Platform for Teens in Minneapolis (Minneapolis) – Engages, inspires, and educates teens to become future leaders who possess confidence, enthusiasm and curiosity about Jewish life.
ZABS Place (North Carolina) – Provides training and work experiences to young adults with special needs to help reveal their unique potential, talents, and skills.